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Ed Babinski (b. 1956)
Consider the world's oldest, most prestigious institutions of higher learning, all founded on the notion of "Biblical infallibility," yet after continually drawing the brightest scholars and students, they eventually rejected inerrancy and the fundamentalist apologetical stance for an historical-critical approach.
happy enough reading the exit fundyism listserv knowing that there are
many intelligent people out there who can handle themselves and their own
beliefs and provide answers to others. I don't have to provide the
answers, the answers are out there for people who search, and society will
do what it will.
[When] church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued.
That which has made the greatest noise is a tax of three pence a pound upon tea; but your law of last June laid a tax of the same sum every year upon the Baptists in each parish, as they would expect to defend themselves against a greater one. And only because the Baptists at Middleboro have refused to pay that little tax, we hear that the first parish in said town have this fall voted to lay a greater tax upon us. All America are alarmed at the tea tax; though, if they please, they can avoid it by not buying the tea; but we have no such liberty. We must either pay the little tax, or else your people appear even in this time of extremity, determined to lay the great one upon us. But these lines are to let you know, that we are determined not to pay either of them; not only upon your principles of not being taxed where we are not represented, but also because we dare not render that homage to any earthly power, which I and many of my bretheren are fully convinced belongs only to God. Here, therefore, we claim charter rights, liberty of conscience. And if any still deny it to us, they must answer it to Him who has said, "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
Check out Francis Bacon's Scary Side
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation, all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not, but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.
Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.
No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.
Truth can never be reached by just listening to the voice of an authority.
Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.
It is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour.
Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books.
Knowledge is power. (Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.)
Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
Dryden: To Bacon We Owe Scientific Method
"The World to Bacon does not only owe
You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now.
Great and terrible systems of divinity and philosophy lie round about us, which, if true, might drive a wise man mad.
The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people.
So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it unwise, and their conscience it is wrong.
A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
If we think that this search for God is a vain search, and that there is no reality to be discovered, ... then the history of religion becomes a study of the aberrations of the human mind.
never doubted never half-believed.
Where doubt there truth is -- 'tis her shadow.
-- Philip James Bailey, quoted from Roderick Bradford’s biography, D M Bennett: The Truth Seeker (page 49)
The sole equality on earth is death.
The freedom allowed in the United States to all sorts of inquiry and discussion necessarily leads to a diversity of opinion, which is seen not only in their being different denominations, but different opinions also in the same denomination.
One of the many burdens of the person professing Christianity has always been the odium likely to be heaped upon him by fellow Christians quick to smell out, denounce and punish fraud, hypocrisy and general unworthiness among those who assert the faith. In ruder days, disputes about what constituted a fully qualified Christian often led to sordid quarrels in which the disputants tortured, burned and hanged each other in the conviction that torture, burning and hanging were Christian things to do....
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Priests, kings, statesmen, soldiers, bankers and public functionaries of all sorts; policemen, jailers and hangmen; capitalists, usurers, businessmen and property-owners; lawyers, economists and politicians -- all of them, down to the meanest grocer, repeat in chorus the words of Voltaire, that if there were no God it would be necessary to invent Him.
If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.
The idea of god implies the abdication of human reason & justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty & necessarily ends in the enslavement of manking both in theory & practice.
The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.
Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the bootmaker.
Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.
All religions, with their gods, their demi-gods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the prejudiced fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties.
God, or rather the fiction of God, is thus the sanction and the intellectual and moral cause of all the slavery on earth, and the liberty of men will not be complete, unless it will have completely annihilated the inauspicious fiction of a heavenly master.
All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs and saints, are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have not yet reached the full development and complete possession of their intellectual powers.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.
With all due respect, then, to the metaphysicians and religious idealists, philosophers, politicians or poets: the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, both in theory and practice.
People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.
Christianity is the complete negation of common sense and sound reason.
Religion is a collective insanity.
Theology is the science of the divine lie
We are materialists and atheists, and we glory in the fact.
Christianity has operated with an unmitigated arrogance and cruelty -- necessarily, since a religion ordinarily imposes on those who have discovered the true faith the spiritual duty of liberating the infidels.
If the concept of God has any validity or use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.
Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have.
A devotion to humanity is...too easily equated with a devotion to a Cause, and Causes, as we know, are notoriously bloodthirsty.
.The reasoning isnt crazy. Its technically correct. If youre being true to the idea that government must not take positions on religious questions, then the Ninth Circuit opinion is quite persuasive.
There is a powerful desire by majorities to assert a religious identity for the country.
With one single exception, the parables attributed to Jesus are thoroughly religious and decidedly inferior in their moral tone, besides possessing minor faults. The God who is to be the object of our adoration and imitation is depicted to us as a judge who will grant vengeance in answer to incessant prayer, as a father who loves and honors the favorite prodigal and neglects the faithful and obedient worker, as an employer who pays no more for a life-time than for the nominal service of a death-bed repentance, as an unreasonable master who reaps where he has not sown and punishes men because he made them defective and gave them no instructions, as a harsh despot who delivers disobedient servants to tormentors and massacres those who object to his rule, as a judge who is merciful to harlots and relentless towards unbelievers, as a petulant king who drives beggars and outcasts into the heaven which is ignored by the wise and worthy, as a ruler of the universe who freely permits his enemy the devil to sow evil and then punishes his victims, as a God who plunges men in the flames of hell and calmly philosophizes over the reward of the blest who from Abraham's bosom behold the sight and are not permitted to bestow even so much as a drop of cold water to cool the parched tongues of their fellow-creatures amidst hopeless and unending agonies, in comparison with which all earthly sufferings are but momentary dreams.
Thanks to the toleration preached by the encyclopedists of the eighteenth century, the sorcerer is exempt from torture.
D D Bandiste (b. 1923)
Ancient mythologies obscure peoples vision and make enemies of neighbours. The Ganesh phenomenon is like the case of the moving statues in Ireland. Such episodes show that superstitious, irrational thinking persists in many societies and is actively encouraged by the inculcation of religion. Religion is essentially irrational and it encourages other forms of irrationality to flourish. At its worst, it ends in violence.
Every believer says that his was the only true religion. So is the case with nationalism.... All humans should be treated as one family.
Every religion manifests ideals such as do not steal, do not tell lies, and so on. These are the norms for any civilized society and they should not be linked to any religion or god.
Many quarrels can be avoided if the wortd "God" is not brought up in our work and deed.
The study made me realise that all religions are narrow, false and out of date, too, and that the concept of god was a myth.
The reason is that the authors of these books never moved out of their places of living.
Religion is slowly losing hold over people and people are slowly becoming atheists.... Anyway, I am not disappointed with the slow.
God is man idealized.
God has been replaced, as he has all over the West, with respectability and air conditioning.
The religious passion verges so closely on the sexual passion that a slight additional pressure given to it bursts the partition, and both are confused in a frenzy of religious debauch.
If the Prodigal Son's a parable, and if Adam and Eve are metaphors, then maybe God is just figure of speech.
You keep accusing me of blasphemy all of the time, but I cannot be convicted of a victimless crime.
Atheists are suffering from bad PR What if Sesame Street had an atheist character?
It turns out that the word atheism means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism.
Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god -- both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter.
It is wrong for a secular government to promote prayer. We think the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. What if the president declared a National Day of Cursing God because He failed us on September 11? Americans would say, "You've overstepped your authority." That's how we feel when he promotes prayer.
Look at the posture of prayer. It is the posture of slavery, of bowing before your master. We are a proudly rebellious country. We kicked out the master. Now here comes the government telling us to humbly bow again.
If the answers to prayer are merely what God wills all along, then why pray?
Not thinking critically, I assumed that the successful prayers were proof that God answers prayer while the failures were proof that there was something wrong with me.
Prayer never changes the laws of nature.
The trouble is that neutrality is confused with hostility. We're not disrupting churches, or interrupting people's prayers. We're not fighting religion.
Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, "Yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.
Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits.
It's not easy to change world views. Faith has its own momentum and belief is comfortable. To restructure reality is traumatic and scary. That is why many intelligent people continue to believe: unbelief is an unknown.
I took about a year to fully adjust. Like there's a death at the family or a divorce, you don't just snap your fingers and it's over.
Some theists, observing that all "effects" need a cause, assert that God is a cause but not an effect. But no one has ever observed an uncaused cause and simply inventing one merely assumes what the argument wishes to prove.
I have an Easter challenge for Christians. My challenge is simply this: tell me what happened on Easter. I am not asking for proof. My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me exactly what happened on the day that their most important doctrine was born.
Theists claim that there is a god; atheists do not. Religionists often challenge atheists to prove that there is no god; but this misses the point. Atheists claim god is unproved, not disproved. In any argument, the burden of proof is on the one making the claim.
The next time believers tell you that "separation of church and state" does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word "trinity." The word "trinity" appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or unphrased) by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural, Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation, Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy, Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord's Prayer, Good Friday, Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality, Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual, Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue, or Bible.
You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?
The orthodox faith painted God as a revengeful being, and yet people talk about loving such a being.
Thought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
Those who so glibly dismiss as "mere legal technicalities" the procedural guarantees of the Constitution limiting law-enforcement activities forget that nothing is more basic to civil liberty than freedom from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment by policemen who are masters, not servants, of the law. The most characteristic symbol of the police state is the ominous rap on the door at night. Freedom from the fear of that rap is the basic condition for the exercise of every other form of freedom. "The history of liberty," Mr Justice Frankfurter once observed, "is the history of the observances of procedural safeguards."
O people, confirm your actions
How boundless is the strength of imagination!
All the sellers listen to thee
I do not acknowledge religion.
I think you can see in my letter that I cherish my great-grandchildren
being able to attend a fundamentalist-free Baylor University. I'm an old
man and I've seen a lot. I saw the fundamentalists seize control of the
Southern Baptist Convention. I see no compatibility between fundamentalist
objectives and those of us who cherish religious freedom, personal liberty
and individual rights.
Religious liberty is the chief cornerstone of the American system of government, and provisions for its security are imbedded in the written charter and interwoven in the moral fabric of its laws.
Pierre Bayle (1647-1706)
In matters of religion it is very easy to deceive a man, and very hard to undeceive him.
It has been asserted, that a moral Atheist would be a monster beyond the power of nature to create: I reply, that it is not more strange for an Atheist to live virtuously, than for a Christian to abandon himself to crime! If we believe the last kind of monster, why dispute the existence of the first?
[The movement of comets is part of] the ordinary works of nature which, without regard to the happiness or misery of mankind, are transported from one part of the heavens to another by virtue of the general laws of motion.
Consider, I pray, whether you are not renouncing all shame and sincerity to advance such principles. Because a comet appears in a group of stars which the ancients thought fit to call the Virgin, therefore, shall our women be barren, or have frequent miscarriages, or die old maids. I know of nothing which hangs so ill together! To offer such things in seriousness, shows the greatest contempt of mankind, and the most scandalous lying impunity.
So that, were it the purpose of God to produce comets as signs of his wrath it would be true to say that he is quickening a false devotion almost all over the world, increasing the number of pilgrims to Mecca, multiplying the offerings to the most famous impostors, inducing men to build mosques for Mohammedan worship, causing the invention of new superstitions among the dervishes -- in a word, stimulating many abominable things which otherwise might not have been.
Do you doubt that the least effects of nature were not used as marks of the wrath of heaven? It was to the interest of pontiffs, priests, and augurs, as much as it is to the interest of lawyers and doctors that there should be lawsuits and sickness. No wonder they took care that the people should not grow slack in their religion.
It is only common prejudice that induces us to believe that atheism is a fearful state.
There was no other God, religion, or lawful magistracy, than conscience, which teaches all men the precepts of Justice, to do no injury, to live honestly, and give everyone his due.
One must be stark mad, to believe that mankind can subsist without magistrates.
I get up and retire when I wish. I go out if I wish and I do not go out if I do not desire to do so, except for the two days on which I give lectures.
I shall add one Remark more. That if a Religion, persecuted in a Country where it was weakest, shou'd ask her Persecutors, why they employ such violent Methods; and these answer, because God enjoins the true Religion to extirpate Heresy quocunque modo [i.e., in whatever way]; if, I say, by making this Answer, they shou'd happen to persuade the Persecuted that there really was such a command, what wou'd follow? Why this same persecuted Church, finding it self the strongest in another place, might very well say to the Communion which had tormented it in the Country where 'twas uppermost, you have taught me one Lesson that I did not know before, I am oblig'd to you for it; you have shewn me from the Scriptures, that God enjoins the faithful to distress false Communions; I shall therefore fall to persecuting you, seeing I am the true Church, and you Idolaters and false Christians, etc. It's very plain, that the stronger the Arguments be which Persecutors bring to prove that God enjoins Constraint, the smarter Rods they furnish their Adversarys to scourge themselves in another place. Each Party will engross the Proofs, the Command, the Rights of Truth; and authorize its Proceedings by every thing which the really true Religion can offer in its own behalf.
Compulsion in the literal Sense is maliciously misrepresented, by supposing it authorizes Violences committed against the Truth. The Answer to this; by which it is prov'd, that the literal Sense does in reality authorize the stirring up Persecutions against the Cause of Truth, and that an erroneous Conscience has the same Rights as an enlighten'd Conscience.
I lay down the Position, That whatever a Conscience well directed allows us to do for the Advancement of Truth, an erroneous Conscience will warrant for advancing a suppos'd Truth.
Shaftesbury: What Good this Ernest Search for Truth!
"I think the world, and in particular the learned world, much beholden to such proving spirits as these.... What injury such a one could do the world by such a search for truth with so much moderation, disinterestedness, integrity, and innocency of life, I know not. But what good he did I in particular know and feel, and must never cease to speak and own."
The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea
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